|Hóc Môn Wholesale Market in HCM City. The city has stepped up inspections at wholesale markets to ensure food safety. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Diệp|
HCM CITY — HCM City has stepped up food inspections at wholesale markets in the city to ensure safe food products in the lead-up to the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday which falls on February 12.
An inspection delegation from the Social and Cultural Committee of the municipal People's Council last week inspected food and agricultural products at Bình Điền Wholesale Market and other markets in Bình Chánh District, and at Bình Tây Wholesale Market and Bình Tiên Market in District 6.
Tsàn A Sìn, deputy director of the Bình Điền Wholesale Market Management and Trade Company, said the market had 1,847 business points with more than 610,000 tonnes of goods in the first nine months of the year.
The company, in collaboration with the city’s Food Safety Management Board, regularly checks the quality of goods at the market and takes food samples for testing.
More than 550 food samples were tested and most of them met food safety standards in the first nine months of the year.
“However, trading around the market is significantly affecting small traders and could lead to food safety risks,” Sìn said.
He proposed that the People's Council ask departments and agencies to build a fence around the market to ensure modernisation and food safety.
Bình Điền Wholesale Market is expected to become a tourism destination and a model for other wholesale markets in the country, he said.
One of the city’s biggest wholesale markets, Bình Tây Wholesale Market offers a wide variety of food items.
Cao Văn Thành, deputy head of the Bình Tây Wholesale Market’s management board, said the board was raising awareness about food safety and hygiene among small traders at the market.
At Bình Tiên Market, all traders are knowledgeable about food safety and hygiene and receive periodic health examinations.
Lê Thanh Bình, vice chairman of District 6’s People’s Committee, said that inspections and hygiene and safety campaigns would be strengthened from now to the end of the year and Lunar New Year.
The delegation also made inspections at the Hóc Môn Wholesale Market in Hóc Môn District and some markets in District 11.
Lê Văn Tiển, deputy director of the Hóc Môn Wholesale Market Management and Trade Company, said the market is one of the first two markets to pilot a safe-food model in the city.
“Management and supervision of the quality of food products are done regularly and seriously,” he said.
In the first nine months of the year, the market strictly handled 13 cases of pork businesses that violated food safety and hygiene, down 40 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Nguyễn Bá Tùng, head of Bình Thới Market’s management board, said the market is sprayed with disinfectant and washed with water regularly, especially in fresh food areas such as pork, beef, poultry meat and seafood.
The board will continue efforts to control food safety by increasing the number of inspections. — VNS